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Get started with Downhill Mountain Biking

Photo: Emrik Jansson

Downhill Mountain Biking: Speed, technique and a touch of adrenaline on top of that – riding downhill is one of the best parts of summer. This is all you’ll need to get started.

Your bike and protection

Riding downhill in the mountains puts a high demand on your bike, and that’s exactly why it’s important to have a strong and durable bike that can handle all the tough elements. Front and rear suspension are a given, just as strong wheels are. The type of bike you choose depends on what type of riding you choose to do.

Downhill bikes

Downhill bikes are usually equipped with 200 millimetre suspension from both the front and rear. There’s a double crowned fork at the front (in the same style as a motocross bike), to create as much stability as possible and a rear shock with a spring in order to absorb a lot of beating. The saddle sits low so that you can move freely and properly in turns and steeper sections. Downhill bikes are fantastic when going downhill, they can handle loads of speed while still being safe and sturdy. If you haven’t ridden downhill before, this is the bike for you, and Åre has a bunch of shops that have great downhill bikes for rent.
However, just as good as your downhill bike will perform going down the hill, just as bad it is for climbing uphill. This is purely a bike to enjoy riding down the slopes.

Enduro bikes

If you’re also up for a bit of pedalling, or just want a bike that’s also fun on a bit flatter trails, an Enduro bike is the model for you. Enduro from the beginning was a competitive form of mountain biking that consists of pedalling up to the starting line, then accelerating full-on downhill towards the finish, on the same bike. Enduro bikes have 150-170 millimetres of suspension both front and rear, and are a little lighter and easier to pedal than a downhill mountain bike. Regardless of the details, they’re also great to ride the Åre Bike Park on Mt. Åreskutan with.

Full face helmet

At the risk of scaring you unnecessarily, sometimes you wipe out when riding downhill, it’s part of the sport. So, a strong and properly protective integral helmet is a must.

Goggles

A pair of goggles protects your eyes against flying dust, mud and random objects. Bike goggles only have one lens with usually clear glass, unlike mirrored lenses used in ski goggles, which can get quite dark in the forest.

Body protection

How much protection you choose to wear is entirely up to you, but we recommend at least knee and back protection for downhill mountain biking. Then you can add elbow protection and chest protection if you want to feel extra safe. Or get an all-in-one protective jacket.

Ask for help

If you don’t know where to start looking or what the best equipment is for you, you can always ask for help at your local bike shop or from one of the local the rental companies. If you rent a bike all the protection gear described above is included. Scroll down to find a list of all the bicycle companies in Åre.

Photo: Emrik Jansson

Photo: Emrik Jansson

Photo: Emrik Jansson

Photo: Emrik Jansson

Photo: Emrik Jansson

Clothes

You don’t necessarily need to buy specific clothes to go mountain biking, although there are of course clothes that are specifically designed for it. Dig a little in your wardrobe at home and you’re guaranteed to find something you can use to start off with.

Functional shirt with space for protection underneath.

Shorts. Preferably a pair in heavy fabric that goes to your knees.

Bike gloves with long fingers and good grip or buy a pair of cycling gloves. They have the best grip.

Cycling shoes and pedals

A pair of stable, biking shoes is a sensible investment if you intend to ride a lot. They’re constructed with sole that’s made to click right to the pedal and won’t give way when pedalling hard. Which shoes you choose depends on the type of pedal you use.

Platform pedals

A “normal” pedal with a large platform that’s also equipped with small pins to give you a better grip. For optimal function, you’ll need a sturdy shoe with a relatively smooth and grippy rubber sole that’ll provide good friction against the pedal. This combination works well for both trail riding and downhill mountain biking.

SPD pedals

Also called clip pedals consists of a system similar to a ski binding where a small cleat is screwed into the sole of the shoe that attaches to the pedal. There are plenty of different variations of both pedals and shoes but go for a pedal with a platform around the pedal mechanism itself. That’ll give you a little extra support and so that you can stand on it if you miss clicking in. Combine that with a shoe with a medium to stiff sole and you’ll have a good combination for both pedalling and riding downhill.

Hire a guide

Hiring a guide is the best way to quickly and safely get a feel for both the trails in Åre Bike Park and get some solid technique tips. All of Åre’s bike rental companies offer certified guides and you can choose between a short introductory courses of a couple of hours or full-day guiding. Scroll down to find a list of all the bicycle companies in Åre.

Phone

Your phone isn’t just used to document you and your friends’ adventures on Mt. Åreskutan it’s also a safety device if something goes wrong. Enter the emergency number of the bike patrol in your contacts; +46-647-130 91

Bikes, equipment and guides

Åre Strand 48, 837 52 Åre

+46 (0)760 189 282

arefatbike.se

info@arefatbike.se

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Karolinervägen 81, 837 71 Duved

+46 (0)70-679 56 59

arebergscyklister.se

info@arebergscyklister.se

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Åre Skidsport, Årevägen, Åre

+46 647-501 19

areskidsport.se

info@areskidsport.se

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Restaurang Timmerstugan, Åre, Åre

+46 647-508 88

aremtbcenter.se

info@aremtbcenter.se

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Årebjörnen Skidcenter AB, Fröåvägen 33, Åre

+46 647-134 70

skidcenter.se

info@skidcenter.se

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Årevägen 78, Åre

+46 647-130 00

skistar.com/sv/Are

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Stationsvägen 14, 830 13 Åre

+46 647-507 00

areguiderna.se

info@areguiderna.se

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Bike Republic, Årevägen, Åre

+46-647-25 000

bikerepublic.se

info@bikerepublic.se

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Puls Camp Åre Åre Strand 48 , 837 52 Åre

+46 647-525 25

campare.se

info@campare.se

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Årevägen 78, 830 13 Åre

+46 647-130 00

www.skistar.com/sv/myskistar/destination/are/sommar/sommar-i-are/

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Årevägen 138, Åre

+46 647-500 96

arebikes.se

info@arebikes.se

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Vålådalen 247, 830 12 Vålådalen

+46 647-353 00

valadalen.se

info@valadalen.se

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Last updated 1 August 2023